Breaking News Delhi HC Notice to ICMR on barring repeat RT-PCR...

Delhi HC Notice to ICMR on barring repeat RT-PCR test for Covid-19 patients

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New Delhi, Aug 9 (ILNS) The Delhi High Court has sought the stand of the Centre and the Indian Council of Medical Research on a plea challenging an advisory issued by the ICMR barring repetition of RT-PCR test on individuals who tested positive for Covid-19.
Mr. Anurag Ahluwalia, Central Government Standing Counsel appearing on behalf of the ICMR, sought time from the Division Bench comprising Chief Justice D.N. Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh to file its response. 
The matter was deferred to September 20, 2021.
The plea has been filed by a practising Advocate Karan Ahuja, through Advocates Kuldeep Jauhari, Anubhav Tyagi and Rajat Bhatia. The petitioner and his parents tested positive for Covid-19 on April 28, 2021 and remained under home isolation for a period of 17 days as per the guidelines issued by the Delhi Government. On May 1, 2021, Civil Defence Volunteers were deployed outside his house for ensuring that isolation protocols are followed properly. Even after completing the mandatory isolation period, the Civil Defence Guards insisted on a negative Covid-19 report to allow the petitioner and his family to step out of the house even to get essential items. 
Subsequently, on May 18, 2021, the petitioner and his parents went to the nearest dispensary to get tested, but the medical staff refused to conduct the test citing that they have orders not to test people who have tested positive.
The plea alleges that the May 4 advisory issued by the ICMR is “arbitrary, discriminatory and creates a paradoxical situation since a negative RT-PCR report is compulsorily required by several other notifications issued by the respondents (Centre, ICMR and Delhi government).”
The plea further alleges that the denial of testing at a public facility is violative of Article 14 and Article 21 of the Constitution as it discriminates against individuals who have tested positive and leaves no room for them to confirm if they have turned negative and fully recovered.
The plea seeks striking down of the clause in the advisory which bars repeating of an RT-PCR test on someone who has already tested positive by way of Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) or RT-PCR and a direction to not put any direct or indirect prohibition on the right of a citizen to get oneself tested for any infection, including Covid-19.
The Bench, on previous occasion, sought response from the Centre, the Delhi Government and the ICMR on the issue./ILNS/BG/KR/SNG

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